Can you put yourself in the shoes of a struggling Canadian?

1 in 10 Canadians are living in poverty. Experience the realities of poverty in our communities.

  • Calendar

    One full month

    Jump directly into a month in the life of a Canadian living in poverty and see if or how you can make ends meet.

  • Mailbox with a letter inside

    Day-to-day challenges

    From food insecurity to housing instability, your decisions will impact the short- and long-term challenges faced.

  • Lightbulb and calculator

    Make it work

    Balance work, family, and health while staying on top of finances and managing daily life.

Deepen your understanding of yourself and others

Make the Month helps us learn about the realities our neighbours living in poverty face, by putting us in similar circumstances to those that they face on a daily basis. Financial decisions are rarely clear-cut or easy to make. How you allocate your money depends on what you need or value most, and requires some tough decision-making along the way. Each choice or decision has an impact on your mental health and relationships. What will take priority in your Make the Month journey?

About Make the Month

Make the Month was developed by United Way of Calgary and Area in consultation with community partners who provided insights based on research and lived experience.

Our goal with this tool is to equip Calgarians with knowledge about poverty by giving them a new perspective - what it is like to make the decisions of a person or family struggling with poverty. Our outcome is to arm our communities with the knowledge and awareness about the social issues that impact us all.

This digital experience helps build empathy for people in our communities by showing the difficult decisions individuals make as the monthly bills come in, the limited income goes out, and the impact of those decisions on family, work, and everyday life. We will learn that living in poverty affects much more than finances. Our financial decisions can have a broader effect—on physical and mental well-being, inclusion and participation in society, and maintaining healthy relationships.

The Make the Month platform has been customized with local data in nine regions across Canada to reflect real-life situations in different communities. During your experience, you will also be able to test your knowledge about social issues affecting Canadians, ranging from factors that impact Canadians physical, mental, social, and environmental well-being. And in doing so, you will also learn about the programs and initiatives the United Way invests in removing barriers to social inclusion and creating more opportunities for people to participate meaningfully in their community, form new social relationships, and establish inclusive communities to live, play, and work.

Facilitated sessions for Make the Month are also available for workplaces and groups. For more information, please email us at